Lost Gems: Thompson (1988)

Emma Thompson is, of course, one of nation’s greatest treasures – the female Stephen Fry, or, if you will, Stephen Fry the male Emma Thompson. However, while she is of course the superior actor and feature writer (she’s only the person to have won both best actor and best writer Oscars), Fry is the superior sketch show writer, as this ‘ere blog’s regular feature ‘A bit of A Bit of Fry and Laurieregularly demonstrates.

How do I know? Because although our Emma has appeared in sketch shows, including Stephen’s very own Saturday Night Fry, her attempt at sketch show comedy back in 1988 – the eponymously named Thompson – didn’t fare as well as Stevie-baby’s.

Starring Thompson, Imelda Staunton and Stephen Moore, Thompson was a loose collection of sketches and musical numbers written by Thompson. And although it had its moments, it wasn’t great, being successful with neither audience nor critics. Described in Time Out magazine as "very clever-little-me-ish", it lasted only one series, has never been repeated and our Emms has not returned to sketch comedy since.

However, although it’s not been released on DVD, a few episodes are available on YouTube, including all of episode three. I should mention at this point, incidentally, that Emmy-wemmy was married to Kenneth Branagh at this point, and he appeared in a lot of the sketches, including this slightly over-intimate one.